1. Forgive - If your partner is willingly and sincerely taking action, then you must forgive that person. Forgiveness is a two way street. And even if you are skeptical, you still need to forgive the offense and forgive the person. Remember, forgiveness is a gift to YOU, as much, if not moreso, to the person being forgiven.
2. Communicate - Like most relationship issues, there is usually a “reason behing the reason.” Talk to them and let them know how you felt because of what happened. And try to find out what was the reason behind their action. Do this in a non-accusatory way, without blame, and you have a much better opportunity to get to the heart of the matter.
Successful relationships require two people who are good at resolving problems. You had a problem that hurt your relationship. But if you can really get to the heart of it, and really resolve the problem between the two of you, then you can kiss the problem goodbye and it won’t harm your relationship again in the future.
3. Acknowledge - If your partner is making progress in righting their wrong and reestablishing your trust, acknowledge it. Let them know you appreciate their effort and how much it means to you. Little compliments and acknowledgements go a long way!
4. Be patient - The process of reestablishing trust lasts a long time. Be patient with your spouse. And be grateful for the progress they are making. Eventually you will come to a place where you can see the change is sincere and the wrong has been righted.
5. Truly forgive - Why is this step here twice? Because many times we forgive the other person, but somewhere deep inside, we hold on to the hurt and we don’t forget what happened.
Now, this is natural. It’s our own defense mechanism to protect us from getting hurt again.
And, of course, we will never forget what happened. But we have to truly forgive and let go of it.
Meaning, we have to forget about it as much as possible. If we don’t, this problem could rear it’s head in other ways. Therapist offices are filled with many people who have unknowingly hurt their loved one in various ways because of the leftover hurt and bitterness of an unresolved offense many years prior.
** If you are religious, it helps to develop the habit of praying together every day, usually just before bed. It is pretty much impossible to stay mad at your loved one when you pray together and it will bring you closer together.